ExxonMobil heads ICIS Innovation Awards winners

13 October 2008 00:01  [Source: ICIS news]

By John Baker


LONDON (ICIS news)--ExxonMobil Chemical and Japanese affiliate TonenGeneral have triumphed in the best product innovation category in this year’s ICIS Innovation Awards, results of which are announced on Monday.


Their development and commercialisation of coextruded polymer battery separator films for use in lithium-ion batteries was highly praised by the five judges.


Other winners in the annual awards, sponsored by Dow Corning, were Virent Energy Systems (best innovation by an SME), DSM Nutritional Products (best business innovation) and Dow Chemical (most innovative corporate social responsibility project)


Full details of the winning innovations can be found on the ICIS Innovation Awards website.


“The winning innovations illustrate once again the resourcefulness of the chemical industry in meeting the needs of its customers, end consumers and, increasingly, the environment,” said John Baker, global editor for custom publishing at ICIS, who launched and runs the Innovation Awards.


“When innovations can simultaneously address business and environmental needs then the chemical industry really is a winner and shows itself to be part of the solution, not the problem,” he added.


The ExxonMobil/TonenGeneral innovation is a tri-layer coextrusion with a core layer combining polyethylene (PE) and ultra-high molecular weight polypropylene (PP).


This, said ExxonMobil, improved both permeability and meltdown temperature while retaining proprietary separator characteristics.


The advances are important, as the Li-ion batteries are key to the development of hybrid and electric vehicles and other portable power uses, such as power tools and laptop computers.


Virent Energy Systems’ won the SME category for its novel BioForming process to produce hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals from plant sugars, potentially from especially non-food, cellulosic materials.


Virent said its offered a credible alternative to the existing fermentation, Fischer-Tropsch reactions and pyrolysis routes.


Its novel pathway integrates proprietary aqueous-phase reforming technology with established catalytic processing techniques to convert plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules, similar to those produced in a conventional petroleum refinery.


Best business innovation was won by DSM Nutritional Products for its MixMe home fortification project with the UN World Food Programme.


In a joint initiative, they have developed sachets to deliver micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to developing countries. These can be mixed at home with food to fortify it.


The most innovative CSR project category went to Dow Chemical for its project in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, to reuse city wastewater effluent in its industrial processes.


Benefits include sustainable reuse of 450m cubed/hour of purified wastewater; a 65% reduction in energy use by avoiding desalination; and reduced effluent discharge to the river.


For further information see the ICIS Innovation Awards website 

By: John Baker
+44 20 8652 3214

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